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Here is my story from TZ’s 10-6 win over Somers in today’s Class A quarterfinal:
ORANGEBURG — Eric Casey had a full week to think about how he would attack Somers’ potent lineup, and when his moment finally came, the Tappan Zee senior was ready to roll.
“I found out last week — a while ago — before we had all of the rainouts,” the 6-foot-6 right-hander said. “I knew I was going to start this game for a while now.”
Tappan Zee coach Mark Stanford told Casey that he would get the ball right after his team’s Section 1 Class A first-round win, but postponement after postponement forced all of Section 1 to wait for the quarterfinal round. Casey gave the top-seeded Dutchmen six strong innings Wednesday at Veterans Park, and when the eighth-seeded Tuskers made their push in the seventh inning, Tappan Zee was able to hold on for the 10-6 win.
Next up, the Dutchmen (15-7) will host No. 4 Beacon in the Class A semifinals Thursday as they continue their quest for their second section title in three years.
After several days of rain, the field at Veterans Park was still damp and the grass in the infield was especially thick. Tappan Zee took advantage, beating out a handful of infield hits against Somers starter Spencer Ballot.
“We tried to get it down so we could beat it out to first base,” Dobbs said. “They had hard times making plays to first base with the high grass.”
After Dobbs beat out an infield single in the bottom of the first, the Dutchmen erupted for four runs and forced Ballot to throw 36 pitches. They tacked on more runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to provide Casey with plenty of run support.
In total, Tappan Zee finished with 11 hits from nine batters. Dobbs was the only player to record multiple RBI.
“We just tried to keep our hands above the ball to drive it, and just get hits,” Dobbs said.
Casey got through the first six innings allowing only one run on 83 pitches, but Somers (13-9) began to come to life in the final inning. The Tuskers scored five runs in the seventh to cut it to 10-6, but Dan Citardi was called on in relief, and recorded the final two outs to preserve the win.
“He’s stepped up in some big moments for us,” Casey said of Citardi. “He got us the league championship. And he’s just another arm on our staff. I trust anyone who is going to go out there. We believe that they can give us a good game, no matter what.”
Photos and Video by Peter Carr/The Journal News